|The Cobb, Lyme Regis.|
In Jane Austen's day, the most respectable houses were in the upper part of town. 'To be a person of consideration in Lyme, it is necessary to toil up hill, and to fix one's abode where it is in danger of being assailed by every wind that blows', (John Feltham, A Guide to all the Watering and Sea-bathing Places for 1813, London, 1813). The houses in the lower part of town were rather 'mean', with 'intricate' streets.
|View from the Cobb.|
The Cobb was Lyme's 'harbour of a most singular construction...where ships ride in perfect safety'. And of course Anne Elliot, Captain Wentworth and the Musgrove girls enjoyed walking along it - except on the day of Louisa Musgrove's accident: 'There was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth'.
However, there are some very ancient-looking ones (right) near the end of the Cobb which could also be the steps which Jane Austen meant (and which look easier to jump a young lady down from).
|Harville Cottage, Lyme Regis.|